I've finally followed through on earlier hand waving about combining GDAL with zc.buildout to make replicable Python geoprocessing environments. Grab the Gdawg tarball: Gdawg.tar.gz, extract, and cd into its root. Then build it out like so:
$ python bootstrap.py $ ./bin/buildout
When done, you'll have a custom Python interpreter with GDAL and (for fun) WorldMill:
sean@lenny:/tmp/Gdawg$ ./bin/gdawgpy >>> from osgeo import ogr >>> import mill >>>
Add any other Python eggs you need by customizing the list of eggs in the gdawgpy section of buildout.cfg:
... [gdawgpy] recipe = zc.recipe.egg interpreter = gdawgpy eggs = GDAL WorldMill simplejson # etc
All the familiar GDAL/OGR utility programs are found under parts/libgdal/bin.
What do I mean by replicable? You can control versions of every piece of software in this buildout and even put the config file itself under revision control. It's like an FWTools where you control the versions of everything.